Island Elementary Basketball Championships
The annual Manitoulin Island Basketball Championships took place last week and culminated months of training by our Island’s youth on the court. The boys’ event was hosted at the great Four Directions Complex in Aundek Omni Kaning. The Assiginack Allstars had an impressive, undefeated run with their perfect 10 points after their round robin schedule. Finishing in second were the Little Current Coyotes with seven points and then Lakeview, slightly behind with six.
The Assiginack All-Stars, coached by Kelsey Leclair, featured: Jack Pennie, Ethan Dey, Mathis Bredin, Joel Mailloux, Cole Hughson, Jon Mende and Brodie Pennie.
The girls’ tournament took place in Little Current at the LCPS Coyotes’ den. The Central Manitoulin Eagles were on their game, winning their second straight undefeated tournament. The Eagles, having won the Espanola Invitational last week, also took the Island Championships, undefeated. In their run, Central amassed 10 points, up against Assiginack’s eight and Little Current’s six who took the bronze in a tie-breaker rule over Wasse-Abin.
Congratulations to: Lexi Young, Abbie Heinz, Tessa McGillis-Prior, Ava Assiniwe, Sadie Bridgeman, Nikki Cress, Delaney Bridgeman, Annie Balfe and Naomi Hill. Of course, many thanks needs to go out to their coaches: Jon Balfe, Tamey McAllister and Lisa Pennie.
In the Manitoulin Minor spotlight, the Mindemoya Thunder Peewees took the MMHA Peewee series opener, Friday, March 1 in the divisional final, best-of-five series against Little Current Flyers 6 – 2. The Little Current Flyers bounced back with a vengeance last Saturday, winning 5 – 0 to even the series at one game apiece. The Thunder rumbled over this past weekend as they completed their MMHA championship run. Congratulations to players: Noah Thorpe, Sadie Bridgeman, Landen Smith, Chase Becks, Nevaeh Harper, Rylan Carrick, Autumn Davy, Liam Lariviere, Brayden Phelps, John Thirkill, Danika Skippen, Karsten Powsey, Tessa Prior and Abbie Heins. Not to be forgotten but unfortunately unnamed are all of the coaches, trainers and managers. Hats off to a great season, team!
Major correction, again!
Lucas Green is son of former Manitoulin Panther and Nickel District scoring star Jeff Green and Tanya Carter. Jeff, not Steven, was a Nickel District leading scorer back in the day when our Manitoulin Panther Midgets won the Nickel District League trophy. Not an easy feat to be sure! Lucas, son of Jeff—not Steven—scored the overtime winner for his Sault Greyhounds’ Peewee team and took the NOHA AA title over the West Ferris Trappers last weekend.
Novice Panthers are NOHA silver medal champions!
Our Novice Panthers competed at the N.O.H.A. Tournament of Champions in Iroquois Falls two weekends ago and came home as silver medal winners! The novice team competed against five other Northern Ontario teams including: Powassan, Wawa, South Porcupine, Iroquois Falls and Cochrane.
The team consisted of: Anderson Bennett, Bryden Romaniuk, Brynn Best, Carter Morrell, Cohen Rajotte, Easton Assinewai, Koda Peltier, Liam Stephens, Lincoln Rancourt, Max King, Roen Deschenes, Ryan Carter, Spencer Cortes, Trinity Cheechoo and of course head coach Jesse Peltier, assistant coaches Scott Stephens, Nelson Deschenes and Chris King; trainer Brayden Rajotte and manager Dana Rancourt.
Some of the highlights include the semi-final match against South Porcupine that went into overtime with Carter Morrell sealing the deal with the winning goal! In the final game Spencer Cortes sunk the penalty shot winner against Powassan. Roen Deschenes (#10) was asked to represent the Panthers during the ceremonial puck drop. A special thanks to Given Cortes who slid into the sound booth and was the announcer for the weekend, making special comments during the players’ introductions. Amazingly, the tournament organizer came into the dressing room at the end of the tournament and told the kids to hold their heads high because he said they represented Manitoulin Island extremely well and with class.
A good sport is good for sports